The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - H.H. Godwin-Austen, Journal of a Tour in Assam, 26th November 1872 to 15th April 1873

caption: Nagas supply rice; language difficulties; Butler arrives; Ogle leaves for Rekroma, Godwin-Austen for Kigwema; Kohima coolies; Kigwema build camp; Kigwima people compared with those of Kohima
medium: tours
person: OgleButler
location: Kigwema Rekzoma (Rekroma) Phesama (Phesamah)
date: 3.1.1873
person: Godwin-Austen/ H.H.
date: 26.11.1872-4.4.1873
person: Royal Geographical Society, London
text: 3rd Jany
text: Some rice came into camp but when I saw the measure that the Police havildar used to weigh it out with it was very evident that the 40 seers wd not go into two 30 seers bags, so I weighed out a seer with 80Rs & made a measure. The Nagas were quite pleased with this & I soon had all our empty rice bags filled up. Thus do our Police our own employees out here cause delay & dissatisfaction because we do not know the language of the people. Butler came up abt 12 o/c, carried in a jampan, lame from a sprained ankle. He soon told off a good dobasha or interpreter for Ogle & heard all I had to say about the rice. We settled future work. This over, we all parted. My baggage had all gone off towards Kigwema at 9 o/c, Ogle's to Rekroma at the same time & I only hope he will have luck & finish what he has started to do. He is a fine young fellow & if anyone can do the work he is the man. The march was through very pretty country, crossing spurs from Japvo range on the west. These spurs covered with thin copsey jungle & short grass. We passed Phesamah about 4 pm. A moderate sized place, old panjis all along the paths told of some former cause of defense. The woods here were very pretty. Got in just below Kigwema half an hour before dark. The 2 or 3 coolies from Kohima asked for their wages & hoofed it before the people of Kigwema got down to the camping ground - they were feeling by no means safe owing to an old feud between the two villages. The men & boys of the place crowded down with mats, sticks, bamboos & ties to make up huts. In half an hour the police guard & the coolies were comfortably hutted & fires burning on every side & the cries of dying cocks told that every soul in camp was comfortably settled. The Nagas shewed their usual curiosity & stood about my tent when I went through the operation of face & hand washing. But they were a good, well-disposed lot & their whole bearing a very great contrast to the men of Kohima who only sold what was of advantage to themselves alone. (15) Gave orders about the ascent of Japvo on the morrow & I only pray for a clear horizon when the hill is cleared.